2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage




Project Overview

It is every sports fan’s dream to be part of the game, but unless you are a player it is almost impossible to gauge the true power and precision of professional sport.

We transformed the tennis viewing and TVC experience with a world first App; Game On – turning viewers smartphones into virtual tennis racquets.

We gave armchair athletes the chance to feel what it is like to be on court, returning the world’s fastest serves, and in doing so, demonstrate Kia’s innovation credentials.

Our App exceeded all expectations, and we have a patent-pending technology!

Project Commissioner

Kia Motors Australia

Project Creator

Mnet Mobile


Team Mnet

Project Brief

As the major partner of the Australian Open, Kia had realised substantial increases in brand awareness over the preceding decade. Despite these gains a sizeable majority of new car buyers remained closed to the brand. Consideration levels were stagnant.

Kia simply wasn’t making it onto enough buyers’ shortlists.

To increase openness to Kia we needed to connect with new car buyers on a deeper level and overcome viewer ‘switch off’ during ad breaks.

Our research showed that tennis fans often dream of being part of the game. In their minds they always win; consistently making that clutch serve, that lunge volley and that drop shot. We also discovered that unless fans had actually sat courtside they had no real sense of the power and precision required to perform at the very top of the professional game.

With our second-screen app, we transformed the viewing experience, shifting passive viewing to active engagement and gave viewers a real insight into the brutality of a professional service game, putting them directly in the firing line of the world’s fastest server, Sam Groth (263 kph).

Project Need

We needed to synchronise an action performed by the viewer with a specific event seen through a TV broadcast signal, and instantly measure the user’s movements (return of serve) versus the perfect movement.

In theory we worked out how it could be done. We envisaged a new audio syncing technology (now patent pending) that could calibrate the app, alerting the phone to the forthcoming serve. The phone’s timer, just like playing tennis for real, could be used to measure if a swing was too early or too late, down to the millisecond. The gyro could indicate orientation. And the accelerometer could measure power. Swing too softly and it wouldn’t clear the net. Swing too hard and it’s out of the court.

We just had to put all of the parts together, whilst digital experts were saying it couldn't be done.


Our seamless second screen gaming experience was a smash hit!

•Downloaded 193,000 times in two weeks, players spent 15 minutes playing and watched over 20 Kia ads.
•Ranked #1 in iTunes and Play store charts.
•Write ups on tech sites confirmed our world-leading innovation, and generated over $2 million of editorial support.
•Promoted only in Australia but played in 111 countries.
•Kia’s brand awareness soared with 79% of players more positive about the brand, culminating in a record month for Kia car sales.
•Channel 7 said it “set the benchmark for TV sponsorship leverage and integration”.

User Experience

The game itself needed to be simple and tangible. We were confident that returning the serve with your phone was instinctive. We proved this by filming people returning serves to a rough prototype TVC.

Making the TVC work on many levels, yet seem simple, was critical. In a 30 second TVC we had to communicate the concept, the product, the prize, the app download link and contain the game itself. We had to engage non players, potential players and players all at the same time. Watching the resulting TVC none of this depth is evident – Sam Groth speaks to you, challenges you and you experience and understand the mechanics of the game, such that 193,000 people downloaded the app.

Within the application we kept the experience as immersive as possible by creating a realistic space. The TVC presents you with a player point of view; you are playing against Sam. The simple presentation of a racket on the screen suggests the phone is the racket. The phone speaker delivers sound as well as the broadcast TVC, creating a soundscape. When the app first synchronises with the TV the phone says “Get Ready!” - it creates a moment of magic as the user realises their phone really is connected to the TV.

From the score result to the leaderboard, the design of the application evoked the values and style of the Kia brand.

Project Marketing

To support the App and drive downloads, we worked closely with Channel 7 and created extended 45 second spots featuring station talent intros, as well as manufactured specific times for in-home game play to give the appearance of seamless, in-programme editorial.

Downloads were also driven through paid media activity with messaging matched to that day’s tournament play ensuring that Kia was adding to the conversation, rather than interrupting.

In outdoor we created special courts, complete with sound. Each of these zones was put through its paces in a rigorous after-hours testing programme, ensuring that in-mall gameplay delivered seamless player experiences.

Over and above paid media, the interactive and fun game play social media shares and write ups on tech sites confirmed our world-leading innovation, and generated over $2 million of editorial support which also drove downloads.

Project Privacy

As a company we take a best practice ‘privacy by design’ approach to all our projects, for compliance reasons and in accordance with our user centred approach.

We have been running competitions and promotions on mobile almost continually since 2002. We have our own evolved Privacy Policy (http://mnetmobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mnet-privacy-policy.pdf) which conforms to the requirements of The Privacy Act 1988. The methods and constraints relating to how we collect store, disclose (including de-identify) and remove data are detailed in this policy which is globally accessible on our website.

Our methods are practiced responsibly by trained and dedicated Competitions and Promotions staff and technical support staff. This underpins all the work we do for clients.

In the case of ‘Game On’ the client was the Promoter and their Privacy Policy was made accessible and viewable in the application.
The Game On application also conformed to Android and Apple app store guidelines.

By design, the purpose of collecting users’ personal information was purely for the processes of the competition itself. Within the game their scores were posted in association with their entered username i.e. de-identified.

This category relates to applications that promote television and the digital living room.
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